We recently spent five days in sunny, HOT Barcelona! Had a great time with Jaro and some old friends of mine, exploring the city and seeing all sorts of stuff I didn’t see the last time I was there. Katie and Blake are a great couple that I grew up with that now live there. Cray! It was so comforting to see familiar faces. We got to experience the Catalunya Independencia celebration, which basically entailed a huge parade through the streets to the Arc De Triomf where there was a huge outdoor festival. Those Catalonians sure have a lot of pride. So much so that when you try to talk to them in Spanish they reply in Catalan (which I can’t understand, which probably means I can’t understand much Spanish either), or worse, English. But, at least they throw a good party. We also strolled around Parc de la Cituadella and saw a pretty impressive light show at the fountains of Montjuic. Katie and I even got to spend a day at the beach on the Mediterranean drinking beer and catching up. So fun! Traveler Tip: Yes the beaches are topless, but my top stayed on as I cannot compete with all those bronzed tits on the Med. The rest of the days, I was pretty much on my own and let’s just say, it will take some getting used to. I did some tour buses (and fell asleep like a homeless person on one), Gaudi architectural tours (very cool and worth the expense) and had many a meal sitting alone at tapas bars and cafes (its quite humbling to request a table for one). It was lonely some of the time and sometimes I just wanted to give up and sit in the hotel. Oh wait, there was no Internet or English TV. At all. So I didn’t bother. But, I’m hopeful that exploring places will get easier as we travel around and I get more comfortable being the “foreigner.” 🙂 We did go to one of the biggest sporting events in the world – a champion’s league futbol game. FCB vs. AC Milan (thank you, Nike). It. Was. Insane. The stadium holds 100,000 people and every single seat was filled with screaming fans. For comparison, Soldier’s Field only holds 61K max. It was a very cool experience. Traveler Tip: The stadium only serves non-alcoholic beer (which everyone still drinks, weird), and you can smoke anywhere, including your seat. So I would imagine the nose bleeders probs felt like they were sitting in clouds.. Gross. All in all, we had a great time and I will post some pictures as soon as I get a chance. Gracias, Barcelona!